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Student Ministry - March 2019

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Dear Church Family,
I am so excited to be taking our students on our annual Student Ministry Retreat, March   8-10. This year’s theme is “Image.” Who am I? What is my identity? Who do I see in the mirror? Who does God see in me? These are the questions we will be discussing. It is imperative at this phase of life for students to understand and cherish God’s perspective of themselves. Many people spend way more time considering what they think of themselves or what others think than they spend considering God’s understanding of their Image. Because of this some people have an unhealthy arrogance about themselves causing them to think lesser of others and even mistreat them. Some people think too little of themselves thinking they are worthless and  causing them to be distant and lonely. A healthy perspective, though, is a biblical one. God makes it clear to us exactly what He sees in us, and His message is very encouraging.

As we grow in understanding the love that God has for us, we grow in cherishing His opinion more than anyone else’s. This is such a freeing reality, because it allows us to no longer strive for approval. It doesn’t mean that everyone approves of us now. But it does mean that God approves of us in Christ. He is for us! That is His message. That means that, when we have Christ, we need not be concerned with the opinions of naysayers, bullies, unthoughtful friends, disagreeable family members, or enemies of any kind. God is for us. When He sees us who have put our faith in Christ, He sees His beloved children. He sees Christ’s righteousness. He sees restored hearts who are growing in the Image of His Son, Jesus.

Because of what Jesus did for us through His death and resurrection, “there is now no condemnation for us in Christ.” No matter how many “dislikes” others might give to our Image, God’s “like” outweighs them all! No matter what this life throws our way, we can press on knowing that our God is pleased with us as we place our faith in Jesus. No matter who puts us down, the love of God makes us conquerors, because nothing is as consequential as God’s love for us in Jesus!

This is the message that everyone needs to hear. But this is certainly the message that our students need to hear. In a world that tells them that they are the ones who define truth; in a world that says their opinion is the most important; in the same world that tells them they must fit into a mold; in the same world that bullies them and makes them feel worthless; in the same world that promotes social media celebrities; in the same world that lives and dies by the likes and dislikes; in the same ironic world where tearing someone down in the name of feigned unity is promoted as social justice; in the same world where suicide is the fastest way to become popular… the message that, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” is exactly what we need. Do you believe this?

Posted by Brian Van Doren with